UK prosecutions for “false rape accusations”

Quite unlike other jurisdictions, the UK has a habit of prosecuting women for “false rape accusations” (and then wondering why women won’t report the crime). Buzzfeed has an important expose out that finds (among other things):

At least 200 women in the UK have been prosecuted for lying about being raped in the past decade, according to a BuzzFeed News analysis of press reports. Most of these women were sent to prison, dozens of them with sentences of two or more years.

Prosecutors went after teenagers, and women who reportedly had mental health issues, had experienced past physical and sexual assault, or were grappling with drug and alcohol addiction.

Women were prosecuted even when they reportedly went to police only under pressure, quickly recanted, or never named their attacker at all.

The CPS has prosecuted women who police were not sure had lied. In one instance detectives declined to charge the woman for making a false complaint. Prosecutors went ahead anyway.

Read more here.

On Aid Programmes Aimed at Women

Feminist philosopher Serene Khader brings some much-needed complexity to the discussions.

According to Dr Khader, men have traditionally been enabled to work because their wives take care of children, the house and the garden.

“Many of the women would ostensibly be empowered through work are women who already get up at 4:00am to fetch 20 kilos of water from a well that is miles away; who spend hours cooking, shopping for food, and tending to fields, children in tow, and can only go to sleep after an evening meal is cleaned up after at 10:00 or 11:00pm,” Dr Khader said….

But Dr Khader warns that, in some cases, the extra workload benefits children at the expense of their mothers’ wellbeing.

She calls for a new approach to tackling social issues in the Global South — one that involves men…”Women’s empowerment irreducibly means that men will have to change.”

Read the whole thing.

Latest Free Speech Controversy

“Personally, I find the tiger’s views abhorrent,” read a New York Times op-ed column published just after the tiger got onto a school bus filled with third-graders. “But it’s far worse that left-wing groups are protesting by carrying fire and boarding up all their tiger-sized windows.”

“Let’s not forget; there’s plenty of people who find Bernie Sanders’ views offensive, too. It goes both ways.”

Here.

Real-life Would-You-Rathers

From the ever-awesome McSweeney’s. A sample:

Would you rather realize you’ve spent way too much time writing a list of Catch-22s women face in 21st-century America, but you could still keep going because sexism is all around you all the time always any time you step outside, or realize you honestly don’t even know where your own internalized sexism ends because this patriarchal society is the only one you’ve ever known and what if someday everyone of every gender and color was equal but also is that even possible given the entrenched forces of capitalism and the inherent selfishness of human nature and let’s be real right now it’s hard to imagine what that utopian egalitarian feminist society would even look like and you’re just so so tired, you frumpy, melodramatic, PMS-ing, bossy, ball-busting bitch?

For the whole thing, go here.

The Encyclopedia of Concise Concepts by Women Philosophers

Janice Albers writes:

The Center for the Study of Women Philosophers and Scientists at Paderborn University in Germany, funded by the Ministry for Innovation, Science & Research, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, is happy to announce the Launch of the The Encyclopedia of Concise Concepts by Women Philosophers! On http://www.hwps.de/ecc you may find open access information about women philosophers who have been omitted from the philosophical canon – up until now. Recognized scholars are sharing their profound expertise in concise articles. Our continuously growing database is searchable by different concepts, philosophers, and keywords.

Help us expand the range of The Encyclopedia of Concise Concepts by Women Philosophers and the knowledge about forgotten female philosophers by sharing the ECC’s link in social media.

Announcing: SWIP Italia!

Vera Tripodi writes:

After months of hard work, we are delighted to officially announce the foundation of the Italian Society for Women in Philosophy (SWIP Italia).
The Steering Committee is composed as follows: Marina Sbisà (President), Vera Tripodi (Vice President), Laura Caponetto (Secretary), Federica Berdini (Treasurer). The Committee also includes: Carla Bagnoli, Claudia Bianchi, Maddalena Bonelli, Francesca Forlè, Elena Pulcini, Roberta Sala, and Ingrid Salvatore.

Thanks to all those who supported and encouraged us throughout the process (in particular Marina Sbisà, Carla Bagnoli, Claudia Bianchi, Clotilde Calabi, and Manuela Manera).

Looking forward to working together!
Federica Berdini (Università di Bologna)
Laura Caponetto (Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milano)
Vera Tripodi (Università di Torino)

Interview with Anita Allen

George Yancy interviews incoming Eastern APA President Anita Allen. It’s a wonderful interview– optimistic in places, but also scathing where it needs to be. Here is one of the appalling bits.

Is the denigration of black women philosophers a thing of decades past? Are we beyond being asked to fetch coffee for department chairs and worse? Regrettably, no. In October 2017 a very senior Harvard-educated white male philosopher, whose wife is also an academic, wrote to me seeking feedback on an op-ed he hoped to submit to The New York Times or The Washington Post. He did not like my feedback. He ended an email lamenting his failure to get anything more than “duncical shit” as feedback on his work by letting me know that he had recently imagined seeing my face in the photographs he used in masturbation! Incredible, right? I wrote back to explain why I was offended and to sever ties. I assume that if such a thing could happen to me, some very, very serious harassment and racism must be happening to young women in the field.

Read more.

UK: upskirting legislation blocked

Upskirting is a depraved violation of privacy. It is outrageous that a single Tory MP has been able to derail a much needed and universally supported change in the law. But that is exactly what has happened.

While the actions of one backwards, out-of-touch Tory anger me greatly, it is nothing in comparison to the hurt I feel for the women who have been harassed and degraded because they don’t have the protection they need from the law. The experiences of these women, such as Gina Martin who founded the campaign, are what inspired me to lodge my bill to make upskirting a specific sexual offence.

Read more here.

Interview with Helen De Cruz

Particularly interesting to read about how it was non-Western philosophy that drew her to the subject.

But when I was in my final two years, about half of the program’s credits (world art studies) could filled in with anything students liked. I chose courses such as Introduction to Indian Philosophy and Religion, Islamic Philosophical Theology, Chinese Philosophy and Thought, Comparative Study of Culture (with lots of Native American philosophy, especially as our professor had been studying Navajo culture for years). Our courses on African art and Oceanic art also looked at philosophical ideas, such as the Luba theories on memory and material culture, or the Polynesian concept of mana.

So I found my way slowly into philosophy through all this non-western material. My two absolute favorite courses were Islamic philosophical theology and Indian philosophy and religion. Both professors were passionate about the topic. With our Indian professor, we watched a 5-hour film of the Mahabharata with the class, and we went to a Jainism exhibition in Antwerp. We saw several of the classic darśanas (literally, points of view, of orthodox Hindu thought), as well as unusual heterodox schools such as materialism. Our Islamic philosophical theology professor loved the Mu ‘tazila school and greatly disliked Al Ash ‘ari and Al-Ghazali, blaming them for the decline of everything that was good and proper in Muslim philosophical thinking. He also was a very careful and thorough teacher, trying to impart some Arabic as we went along (always showing the root of each philosophical term as this would help us in our understanding—I am still not sure how that would work). I cherish those courses as they broadened my mind. In spite of my professor’s lack of sympathy for Al-Ghazali, I was, and still am, an admirer of his rigorous and engaging writing.